My understanding of people outside my family I have learned not just of how they live their lives according to their beliefs but depending on their care for accuracy and detail in how they convey their own thoughts to others, I have also learned of characteristics intimimately unique to them. Because the authors have written for every reader, I can make associations between their ideas, other authors' ideas and my ideas based on experiences of mine. I first recognized a method of communication in writing to other people as I began to hear for the first time about the idea of becoming literate. As a young boy, I remember learning the alphabet but I don't remember reading. I was so excited to finally memorize the alphabet, that I became a show off, as is yet evident in my adult life. After this major breakthrough, I began reading all of the time as every kid does in school. My first research paper was in second grade where I chose beavers as the animal I wanted to learn about. I clearly remember the book I got at the library and some of the pictures in it. I was completely astonished that beavers worked together, chopping down trees and building their own homes, and in the middle of the river! The excitement of the miraculous possibilities of reading made such an impression on me that I copied the beautifully written story about beavers word for word, and turned that in as my paper, even though I knew that they wanted it in my own words. This book was all that I had ever known about beavers up to that point and every word in it made such perfect sense to me that I couldn't imagine writing anything other than what they had. Then with interest in books, I began to wonder, Why am I able to get a sense of the things they were talking about from just these little black shapes all set up in a row? I must have begun asking questions because soon I was reading a dictionary and looking up words that were foreign to me. Another development following the discovery of a dictionary was the discovery of an encyclopedia. In the same way that I could look up a word I had never seen before, I could now look up something people were talking about that I had never heard of before. The revelation about literacy came to me the first time when I heard that there were those that were illiterate. For me, then a young man, barely able to remember learning to read at all, I couldn't believe that some people did not understand what something printed on paper meant. How were they able to talk? I asked myself, and, How were they able to understand what other people were saying? I thought it must be something like being deaf and I wished that they were able to read and enjoy the magic of stories, fantasy or their own surroundings with newspaper. What I realized was that words were not just letters separated by spaces; they were at the same time sounds formed by the mouth and tongue. Illiterate people had learned through speech. It was around that time that I became very self-conscious of my words and spoke less and less, being misunderstood as both shy and self absorbed at the same time. In fact, it is still difficult for me to realize the urgency of expressing myself so as not to be misunderstood. Most of the time the world in which we operate, demands that there is clear communication between people. It is an essential way of living, earning money and being happy through the formation of relationships. While it remains true to some extent that I am shy and self-absorbed, I also have a gift for writing music. My older brothers and sisters had good taste in music and liked dancing, as did my parents. After high school, with the keyboard my dad gave me for Christmas, I experimented with creating sounds. I found that by understanding how sounds were generated and that differing sound waves could be pieced together, it was possible for me to represent definitive feelings with music just as you could with words. After a certain time, with influence from other musicians I could think of what I wanted a song to sound like before starting to write it and finish it with that sound in mind from the beginning. When I had achieved this I began to see that this process was a very difficult thing to carry out and so I finally gave myself the distinction of being an artist. I was liberated just as I was when I had memorized the alphabet. Through literature I had heard of artists and admired them, but artists it seemed were non-existent in real life. Besides my oldest brother, I knew of no other artist personally. In conclusion then I can say that without being literate and without the example of the fine people in literature throughout history, I would be in a very different place than I am today. Literacy is developing still in communications technology and there is little reason to doubt that in the future, if it isn't already so, illiteracy will be extinguished and all people will gain the understanding of the good in this wide world.
Band Members Arlan Bergoust - Keyboards, Guitar youngest of six, I grew up in the country. Found experimenting with audio equipment, got a keyboard from family and started programing sounds. I decided to build on my resources with four track recorder and effects machine wich compounded the options, so a theory of minimum material as guided by theme of song became my goal and is the biggest challenge for me now. I am a composition student at the University of Montana after competing on the US ski team in Freestyle aerial skiing. My current employer is the Jeannette Rankin Peace Center, in Missoula, Montana.
Jeannette Rankin was the first women elected into the United States House of Representatives and voted against the decision to enter either of the World Wars. She was a Missoula native, born near Grant Creek.
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